The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said that tackling the ever increasing unemployment levels in Scotland is fundamental to the success of the economy.
The most recently announced figures showed that more than 25,000 people were put out of work in the three months from August to October 2011. There is general acceptance that these levels will continue to rise when the next figures are announced.
With the real possibility that the Scottish jobless total could top 250,000 when these are released, the FSB says that local and national government need to start making ‘smart choices’. It says that it is only this that can boost business and consumer confidence.
With public sector jobs still being cut, small businesses have been urged to create jobs, but they are not getting the support needed, particularly in regard to winning government tenders.
Many smaller businesses are also struggling with their financing, which limits the resources they can give to the recruitment of new staff. Lending rates are still low of course, but new paths such as working with Scottish factoring companies could unlock income which is tied up.
Despite additional finance though, the process of recruitment does need to be looked at, which is something the sustainable procurement bill is meant to address.
However, making this too challenging could impede recruitment opportunities at small businesses further, so legislators drawing this up need to bear this in mind.
Get this right, and the FSB believes the trend could well be reversed, and growth accelerated as a result.